How do I associate applications with KDE Activities? It doesn't seem obvious how it works. Are there any tricks?

  • A bit more clarity would help. What is a KDE activity?
    – tshepang
    Jan 29, 2011 at 2:19
  • @Tshepang, that doesn't require clarity, it requires knowledge of kde4. here you go simply know something about why kde4 isnt' kde3 and you probably have run into activities. intoxicat[ed|ing] replies ftw! Jan 29, 2011 at 9:05
  • oh... um... try this. it's like this concept that's fleshed out... but isn't yet intuitive, and yet you're trying to use it intuitively Jan 29, 2011 at 9:12

6 Answers 6


Ok first you want to open your activities (SUPER ( Windows )+Q) unlock widgets, and create at least one other activity. Make sure that more than one of the activities are not stopped (e.g. red X).

*(note: Remember the activity that is highlighted is the currently active one, and according to aseigo only one can be active at a time, though I haven't found this to be exactly true.)

kde activities, with 2 activities enabled

Now right click on the title bar of the window you want to associate with an activity. Go to Activities, and select the activity you want it to be associated with. Please note this dialog is only present if the there are other activites in "not stopped state:" if you stop all but one it won't show the activities dialog. Stopped activities are not shown in this dialog.

right click menu bar activities dialog with all activities selected

note: only works in 4.6 (or later? activities have changed much over kde 4's lifetime, I actually don't know if they'll work this way in 4.7, I honestly hope they don't, this is not intuitive)

  • Aha, I misread your question. I thought that you want to associate the application permanently, not just move a window into another activity. Feb 7, 2011 at 11:37
  • What I don't understand is when it actually starts that application if you, say, logout and start the activity again. Sometimes it starts some applications, like gwenview for photos, but KDE won't start Sublime Text in my programming activity.
    – Ken Kinder
    Aug 9, 2012 at 18:07

In my version 5.36.0 I see two ways to do this:

  • The context menu of the application shortcut (in the example it is on the desktop) allows you to choose the initial activity. Shortcut Context menu
  • With the context menu hidden under the application icon. In the "Special application settings" you can set the application to remember the activity Application Window Icon context menuSpecial Application Settings

It doesn't seem to be possible yet.

If it will appear it should appear in the window/application configuration (from the advanced section in the window context menu).

Activities are still a very fresh feature.

  • actually it is, but I had to get talked through it by aseigo ... and even then it wasn't straight forward. I'll write my own answer later. Feb 2, 2011 at 0:51
  • @xenoterracide I would like to know too, where is your answer?
    – Juliano
    Feb 3, 2011 at 1:26
  • @juliano with my internet and tuits. power went out yesterday and my internet still hasn't been back up at home, at work atm, and it does't work in kde-4.5. hopefully I can write it this weekend. Feb 3, 2011 at 10:42
  • @julian ok, my internet finally came back up an I was able to post an answer with screenshots. Feb 6, 2011 at 21:09

In order to really associate (and not just move) an application with an activity, use you can click on the window title bar and select More Actions -> Special Application Settings. This will open up a dialog with the tab "Size & Position". There will be a check box "Activity" with options to restrict the window to an activity.


In 5.24 (maybe even in earlier Plasma versions, but I've jumped with Kubuntu LTS versions from 5.18 to 5.24), dragging and dropping the task manager button onto the desired activity presents you with two options, to add or to move.

enter image description here

The list of activities can be shown by a hot corner, a panel widget button or a shortcut.


My solution was to create hotkeys for this that change the '_KDE_NET_WM_ACTIVITIES' X-window property.

xprop -f _KDE_NET_WM_ACTIVITIES 8s -id $(xdotool getwindowfocus) -set _KDE_NET_WM_ACTIVITIES $YOUR-ACTIVITY-ID-CSV-LIST

I posted a script that creates a toggle feature and manage duplicate activity IDs here: https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=111&t=174102

  • While this may answer the question, it is better to include the script here and provide the link for reference. May 27 at 0:27

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